Finest Russian Caravan (TB70)

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Black Tea
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Caramel, Smoke, Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Auggy
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205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 34 oz / 1000 ml

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31 Tasting Notes View all

From Upton Tea Imports

Blended exclusively for us by the same European Master Tea Blenders who supply our very popular Russian Caravan (TB60). The same basic blend, using finer grades of tea. A truly exceptional tea.

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31 Tasting Notes

6768 tasting notes

I really thought this would be more smoky and heavier on the Lapsang Souchong. It only has a very little bit of smoke to it – very subtle. I’ve had two cups already this morning. It is a good tasting tea tho! It has a sweeter finish than I expected as well. Overall good – a few surprises – but good!

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2816 tasting notes

Sample of the morning from Upton Tea Imports. :)

I may have steeped this for too long, I kinda lost track of time. I was just reading the other’s tasting notes and a few have remarked how it smells and tastes like darjeeling, honestly I am not picking that up here…

It’s a very strong black tea, I suspect it’s a keemun blend with some ceylon in it, perhaps. There’s a very faint bit of smoke in here. I was able to drink it plain but I also found the flavor to be flat and muddy (and that is how I feel about keemuns in general), so a bit of soymilk perked it right up and made it better. I still don’t taste any darjeeling but if I do a shorter steep, that may become more prominent. Luckily I have enough of the sample for a few more cups.

This is a good morning time tea, dark and strong but I prefer the Russian Country from Harney and Sons.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec
Charles Thomas Draper

I ordered this and many other samples last night….


cool – I look forward to your reviews. :)

Autumn Hearth

Made a pot of this Sunday morning for breakfast with the boys (been a long time since I made a pot). Husband actually thought it was light! I found it less bitey than previously and could almost see what he was saying, there was some floral notes. I definitely got the Formosa, which can have some similar winey notes to Darjeeling, it doesn’t really have the stout brashness Assam can have, which is why some may suspect the India tea listed is Darjeeling. You are probably right about the Keemun, but it doesn’t say Ceylon or Sri Lanka, so again I would suspect the Formosa is morphing itself. I would like to explore more smokey Russian blends when the weather turns.


Autumn – how long did you steep yours for? I didn’t think it was light at all but I was thinking I would try it at a 2 or 3 minute steep.


Many Russian Cravan teas use Keemun teas. Amy…….why do you prefer the Russian Country from H & S?? I feel I’ve asked you this before…….


The H&S tea is sweeter and it also as lapsang in it. I enjoy lapsang blends.

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3294 tasting notes

Just finishing lunch after spending the morning at the courthouse with my daughter. This was our 2nd day in court over custody of her son, who’s father is a control freak & all around @$$#0!3. He has repeatedly tried to use their son to control my daughter & cause her pain, & today I think the judge & lawyers got a view of his true nature. Because of his antics we’ll have to go back AGAIN at the end of August, but today we did get some things ironed out, so that’s an improvement.

Needless to say, I’m behind on my tea drinking! I did have 2 cups of some black tea at the restaurant we went to near the courthouse for breakfast, & that was acceptable (can you tell I’m a grumpus today? LOL)
I also brought my thermal cup & sipped on Bilbo Brew until it was gone.

Now I’m having the last of the Russian Caravan that Sil sent to me on our first trade. It’s a pleasantly bold blend, & although I initially expected smoke, it is not a smokey tea. Thanks again Sil!


I am so sorry your daughter and her family is going through that. I wish it could just be sorted out rationally.

Dag Wedin

Hope it works out to the best for the child :/

Terri HarpLady

Thank you both, & my apologies to all for venting my frustration here. In spite of all of the ‘issues’, my daughter is determined to have joint custody & be fair, which is a good thing. The sad part is just that continues in trying to create difficulties & doesn’t want things to be fair. Today things came out well, in spite of his efforts to skew them towards his own control. He has issues, just like we all do, & old baggage that causes him to behave in this way. I’ll continue to ask the Universe to heal his injured spirit & help him to flow from love & light. I know he also loves his son, & that is the important thing. I’m sure once things are finally over with, it will all calm down.

The good news is my grandson is a happy, healthy, fun little 7 year old who just goes with the flow! For the summer his parents will have him on alternating weeks, & that will be nice for all.


I hope that all turns out for the best, for everyone involved


I’m glad to hear that things came out well. Let’s hope it’ll continue to head in a positive direction.

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328 tasting notes

I love this tea. As it is getting warmer (well really hotter) , a dense , heavy Mountain Malt does not appeal to me in the AM right now. This tea is a whisper of smoke but again I don’t want to wake up w a roaring barbecue during the summer. It has a sweetness in the aftertaste so this is a nice light breakfast tea in the summer months.


Just got an Ipad and need to learn how to adjust the tea ratings on it. This tea is no 38


LOL! I was wondering ;) At least it’s a very good reason for the temporarily low rating :D

RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas

Lori I know what you mean…I have the iPad too. You can’t drag as I am sure you figured out you have to tap beyond what you want and hope it lands on the number you want. It takes time to figure out and is annoying but you will get used to it.


Thanks fixed it.


I had the same problem when we got a new laptop!


Man i could not rate stuff using the ipad, so frustrating!

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15131 tasting notes

When i picked this one, I actually thought it would be a smokey tea for whatever reason. This tea has no smokiness to it. There’s actually almost a fruity taste happening here which confuses me often in straight blacks :) it’s not malty…to me this is a sweet black with some sort of taste to it that makes my mouth feel full. so maybe i’m having a weird morning haha


I also thought Russian Caravan was typically a smoky tea…


yeah…this one really isn’t. at all. lol


Same here, I assumed that Lapsang is always a component in RC!! Odd

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2036 tasting notes

The second in the British Blend Sampler. The web site’s description for the plain Russian Caravan says it has teas from India, China, and Formosa, so this must as well. There is some tippiness to the leaves. Also some twigginess. I wish my senses were sophisticated enough to be able to tell what’s what from the sight and smell of the leaves. I looked up Russian Caravan and Wikipedia says it is a blend of Oolong, Keemun and Lapsang Souchong.

Which is fascinating because after it steeps, it smells like Darjeeling to me. Doesn’t taste so much like it, though. There could well be oolong in this. The mouth feel is soft and silky, and there’s a nutty/stone fruit butteriness to the flavor. I don’t taste smoke except maybe barely in the finish, so if there is lapsang in this it’s a very small amount. I am thinking that what I smelled as Darjeeling is probably Keemun. It has a sort of grapey fruitiness.

The aftertaste is sweet and slightly buttery. I’m in yumsville, liking this one quite a bit.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

I’m having one of those “wah?” moments: there’s oolong in Russian Caravans? Wah?!?!? I guess that I’ve noticed some green leaves amongst many-a-Caravan, but never gave them much thought. I’m now really wanting to try a Caravan looking for the oolong!


This one was my fave in this collection- the smoke like a whisper-

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294 tasting notes

Yes this does have an aroma similar to a Darjeeling. When I first tried this sample I was intrigued by the aroma. I must admit I was expecting something smoky. It was fruity and light after 4 minutes. I have to admit this is a nice evening tea….


Does the caffeine keep you awake?

Charles Thomas Draper

Yes. A good early evening late noon tea. Lol. I do tend to sip cold-brewed teas at late night but only a touch….

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911 tasting notes

Well, this was the tea I made myself this morning. This was also the tea that I accidentally dumped all over the carpet after only a few sips. Boo! So I’m going to hold off on rating this because a few sips just isn’t enough time to make an accurate judgment (well, unless the tea is truly awful but this one wasn’t). I did manage to have 2 thoughts about this tea before dropping the rest on my carpet. 1) This isn’t smoky like I was hoping. Instead it’s more toasty, which is a little sad. And 2) If this is their ‘finest’, I kind of hate to see their regular because the leaves here are large, non-uniform, a bit twiggy and the taste didn’t strike me as overly spectacular.

But who knows? Maybe it turns into liquid gold on the 10th sip – and since I didn’t get to that sip, I’ll have to wait until next time.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

Knowing how you like smoky, I am not suprised that you do not like this one….


I know, me too! It didn’t really strikes me as smoky though. More toasty than anything. I think I was hoping for something smokier than it was, so the lack of significant smoke felt like a huge let down.

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148 tasting notes

This has a light smoky flavor, almost barely noticeable, and as others have noted this seems to have Darjeeling and Keemun in it. I can taste a little bit of cocoa and a slight sweetness bordering on fruity. I steeped this one for four minutes and it’s still very mellow. I was hoping for something strong before essay writing but this seems to scream afternoon or evening tea!

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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300 tasting notes

Tea of the late morning shared with the husband, first sip was a bit dry, then it turned sweet in my mouth. Lovely notes of caramel in this cup, no smoke. Much more enjoyable than the sample six months ago (this one was actually ordered a few months ago by the husband). I brewed at a lower temp and shorter time, probably around 3 mins, I went by smell which was divine. Me thinks this one is a shape shifter.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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